GENDER EQUALITY IN THE

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1 GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORLD OF WORK: TRENDS AND CHALLENGES IN MENA REGION Simel Esim, Senior Technical Specialist, ILO Presentation for Promoting Job Quality and Productive Employment in the Middle East and North Africa: What Works?

2 GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORLD OF WORK Equality of opportunity and treatment in employment Equal remuneration for work of equal value Equal access to safe and healthy working environments and to social security Equality in association and collective bargaining Equality in obtaining a meaningful career development Balance between work and home life that is fair to both women and men Equal participation in decision-making, including in the constitutive ILO organs

3 WOMEN HAVE BECOME MORE EDUCATED AND MORE ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE Trends in women s average years of schooling and labour force participation rates, selected countries (1980, 1990, 2000) Algeria Bahrain Egypt Iran Iraq Jordan Kuwait Syria Tunisia MENA Average Years of Schooling Labor Force Participation Rate Source: Omeira, 2007; based on data from Barro and Lee (2000) and ILO (2008b).

4 YET THEY REMAIN BEHIND WOMEN IN OTHER REGIONS Women's labour force participation rate (%) Women's as a % of men's rates World Developed Economies & European Union Central & South- Eastern Europe (non-eu) & CIS East Asia South-East Asia & the Pacific South Asia Latin America & the Caribbean Sub-Saharan Africa Arab region Source: ILO Global Employment Trends Model

5 Algeria Bahrain Comoros Djibouti Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libya Mauritania Morocco Oman WBGS Qatar KSA Somalia Sudan Syria Tunisia UAE Yemen ONE REGION, MANY REALITIES Men Women Source: ILO GET Model for year 2008

6 YOUNG WOMEN S DOUBLE BIND Women participate in the labour force less than men, although their participation is on the rise Lowest participation of women in the labour force and highest rates of women s unemployment in the world Women have higher unemployment rates than men, especially among youth 0.0 Women Men Women Men Women Men Women Men Labour force pariticipation rate (%) Employment-to-population ratio (%) Unemployment rate (%) Source: ILO EAPEP,

7 Algeria (2004) Morocco (2005) Oman (1996) Qatar (1997) Tunisia (1997) UAE (1995) WBGS (2004) MORE EDUCATION DOES NOT GUARANTEE FINDING A JOB Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Tertiary Secondary Primary Less than primary Women Men 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Source: ILO, 2008b.

8 BUT EDUCATION IS KEY TO SECURE A GOOD JOB Women s employment has a dual nature as they are concentrated in sectors with: Low education and low social protection-informal employment (e.g. Agriculture, domestic work, etc.) High education and high social protection-formal employment (e.g. Public sector, education, health, etc.) Illustration from Yemen (Census, 2004) Main sectors of women's employment % Employed % Women % Illiterate % Protected population Agriculture, hunting and forestry Not classifiable Manufacturing Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods Note: Red: low social protection; Green: high social protection Private households Transport, storage and communications Other social and personal services Public administration & defence; compulsory social security Health and social work Education

9 RISING INFORMAL EMPLOYMENT? The concept of informal employment is central to understanding job quality Four related aspects to informalization around the world (Beneria and Floro, 2006): Increasing labour market flexibilization Growing inequality in income distribution and diminishing bargaining power of workers Institutional factors (e.g. forms of ownership, production, and distribution) Socially ascribed positions in society and within the household Studies of the region suggest that: Different countries have different trends of informalization There are fewer women in informal employment than men

10 WOMEN S SHARE OF INFORMAL EMPLOYMENT IN THE REGION IS LOWER THAN ELSEWHERE Countries Industries Trade Services Total Egypt (2006) Lebanon (2004) Tunisia (2004) Yemen (2004) Average Sub-Saharan Africa Asia Latin America Source: Charmes J. (2002, updated 2004), Self-employment, informal employment, informal sector employment: Trends and characteristics. A tentative assessment of their statistical knowledge, 77p.

11 WOMEN AND MEN ARE EMPLOYED IN DIFFERENT SECTORS Countries with a large share of employment in agriculture (e.g. Egypt, Iraq, WBGS, Yemen) have larger shares of women s employment than men s in these sectors Countries with a small share of employment in agriculture (e.g. KSA, Qatar, Bahrain) have large shares of women in private households with employed persons (mainly migrant domestic workers from Asia and Africa) and/or in education Across the region, women have a larger share of employment in education and men a larger share in wholesale and retail trade In countries with large export industries (e.g. Algeria, Morocco), the share of women is larger in manufacturing

12 MEN ARE MORE LIKELY THAN WOMEN TO OWN THE ENTERPRISE OR OCCUPY SENIOR POSITIONS IN IT Country % of Firms With Participation of Women in Ownership % of Women in Senior Positions Algeria (2007) Egypt (2007) Jordan (2006) Lebanon (2006) Mauritania (2006) Morocco (2007) Oman (2003) Syria (2003) West Bank & Gaza (2006) 18.. World Arab States Source: World Bank Enterprise surveys Women participate in the ownership of less than 18 per cent of enterprises -- significantly lower than world average On average, women represent less than 6 per cent of workers in senior positions in the region

13 LABOUR LEGISLATION TYPICALLY EXCLUDES THE LARGEST GROUPS OF WORKERS Largest sector of employment Country, year, % share of employment Men and Women Women Agriculture, hunting and forestry Egypt 2006 (30.4%); Morocco 2006 (43.3%); Algeria 2004 (20.3%); Syria 2003 (26.9%); 1999 (53.2%) Egypt 2006 (43.2%); Morocco 2006 (61.3%); 1999 (87.8%); Syria 2003 (49.1%); Iraq 2004 (32.6%); and Strip 2007 (36%) Education Jordan 2003 (40.6%); Oman 2000 (41.4%) Manufacturing Algeria 2004 (26.4%) Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods Iraq 2004 (20.4%); and Strip 2007 (17.5%) Public administration and defence; compulsory social security Construction Saudi Arabia 2007 (18%); Bahrain 2001 (18%); Oman 2000 (48.6%); Jordan 2003 (17.8%) United Arab Emirates 2005 (29%); Qatar 2006 (23.7%) Private households with employed persons Kuwait 2003 (25.4%) Source: ILO, 2009b. * Note: No sex-disaggregated data was available for Kuwait. Bahrain 2001 (36%); Qatar 2006 (42.7%); Saudi Arabia 2007 (46.4%); UAE 2005 (41.7%)*

14 LABOUR LEGISLATION TYPICALLY FOCUSES ON NATIONALS IN AN EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP Self-employment as share of total employment Country Year Men Women Estimated migrants share (%) of population Algeria <1 Egypt <1 Morocco <1 Oman Qatar Syria UAE WBGS (refugees) Yemen Source: KILM; UN Population Division

15 BEYOND LAWS INSTITUTIONS AND SOCIAL NORMS MATTER The assumption of a national male head of household who is working full-time in a for-profit enterprise with a permanent employment relationship remains, although it is not the case Parents may still direct girls to non-labour market relevant skills or women appropriate skills that are oversaturated Women have a preference for public sector jobs on account of better working hours, benefits and job security Employers may opt for men as workers on account of assumptions around women s mobility constraints, care responsibilities and maternity-related costs

16 UNEQUAL SHARING OF CARE RESPONSIBILITIES Reasons for home-based work: evidence from Amman, Jordan Source: Shannak, 2008 based on Jordan DOS data.

17 INADEQUACY OF MATERNITY PROTECTION Strong enforcement in the public sector, less so in the private sector Protective legislation may increase incentives for employers discrimination against employing women in the private sector Provision of maternity benefits by employer (Middle East) rather than by social security (North Africa) Childcare facilities linked to number of women employees (childcare as women s responsibility)

18 NORMATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR GENDER EQUALITY: INTERNATIONAL LABOUR STANDARDS (1/2) ILS are legal instruments drawn up by the ILO s constituents (governments, employers and workers) setting out basic principles and rights at work Conventions are legally binding international treaties that may be ratified by member states Ratifying countries commit themselves to Applying the convention in national law and practice Reporting on its application at regular intervals Recommendations serve as non-binding guidelines

19 NORMATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR GENDER EQUALITY: INTERNATIONAL LABOUR STANDARDS (2/2) The gender implications of all ILO standards should be considered in ensuring their effective application Four conventions have been acknowledged as being key gender equality conventions Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) Not ratified by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) Not ratified by Oman Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156) Ratified in the region only by Yemen Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) No ratification in the Arab region

20 SUGGESTED PRIORITIES FOR DISCUSSION

21 EXPAND SOCIAL CARE INFRASTRUCTURE Bring into focus paid and unpaid contributions in care work and housework Take into account family responsibilities of women and men workers Provide social care services to relieve women of the supply side constraints to their labour force participation and to generate opportunities for them to work as paid caregivers Recognize the provision of childcare as a basic element towards extending women s employment opportunities Encourage a more active role for men in assuming care responsibilities, particularly at home

22 EXTEND SOCIAL PROTECTION COVERAGE Extend social protection coverage to informal workers and their families Gradually extend social insurance schemes Provide non-contributory social pensions Develop cash transfer programmes combining benefit payments with incentives to further education and health Introduce employment guarantee schemes Ensure that maternity benefits are funded by the social security fund rather than employers only

23 INCLUDE WOMEN AND MEN WORKERS IN POLICYMAKING Involve employers and workers in the formulation and implementation of relevant policies Foster a democratic and participatory process of social dialogue Support the organization and representation of workers generally, and informal workers particularly Promote the membership, participation, and leadership of women in membership-based organizations Conduct gender audits of institutions as a starting point

24 THANK YOU

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